Duration: 9 hours
Tour Code: aka-001
View the hauntingly beautiful New Zealand countryside by both motor coach and aboard the Tranzalpine, a train ride voted one of the world's top rail journeys.
Depart from the pier via motor coach and drive inland through some of New Zealand's most gorgeous countryside. Every time you think it can't get any more beautiful, it does, especially upon reaching the Southern Alps. At Arthur's Pass, the highest pass in the mountain range, you'll board the Tranzalpine, an award-winning train featuring rail cars with expansive windows for the ultimate panoramic views.
You'll ride through the very heart of the South Island, viewing not only the vast Canterbury Plains but also seeing snow-mantled mountains, native rainforest, alpine meadows and deep river gorges. Ancient glaciers formed much of the remote landscape, and the terrain remains extremely rugged. While there are villages throughout the Southern Alps, for many years only the native Maori hunting parties traversed the passes because of the harsh conditions in the upper elevations. During the rail portion of your trip, a light boxed lunch will be served on board the train.
This spectacular excursion is particularly memorable because you'll travel by two modes of transportation, allowing you to see areas that just one or the other couldn't reveal. Rejoining your coach at Arthur's Pass, you'll begin your descent past lakes and ski fields, stopping along the way at a colonial-style homestead in Darfield, where you'll enjoy a traditional tea. Eventually, you'll find yourself back at the pier in Akaroa, having seen New Zealand in all its glory.
Please note: This tour includes limited walking, mainly at the guests' discretion during the stops; however, it is a long journey by both rail and motor coach. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and participants should have full mobility. Casual clothing which should include a light jacket and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. The tour may operate in reverse order.